This 1 ½ story eave-entry barn’s main facade faces Chaplin Street. On the right side of the main facade there is an overhead garage door. The left side has two fixed six-pane windows. The right gable-end of the barn has a three-over-three double-hung window and a fixed six-pane window below the ridge line. To the right side there is a small shed-roofed addition with a four-pane window. The left gable-end has a pass-through-door with a fixed six-pane window centered below the apex. The rear-eave facade has a fixed four-pane window in the top left corner and to its right is a broken double-hung window which appears to have been six-over-six and is now boarded up. On the far right side of the rear gable-end is a two-over-two double-hung window. The barn has clapboard siding and is painted white with asphalt shingles and a mortared fieldstone foundation. The roof has a slight overhang on the eave and gable-ends.
The oldest barns still found in the state are called the “English Barn,” “side-entry barn,” “eave entry,” or a 30 x 40. They are simple buildings with rectangular plan, pitched gable roof, and a door or doors located on one or both of the eave sides of the building based on the grain warehouses of the English colonists’ homeland. The name “30 by 40” originates from its size (in feet), which was large enough for 1 family and could service about 100 acres. The multi-purpose use of the English barn is reflected by the building’s construction in three distinct bays - one for each use. The middle bay was used for threshing, which is separating the seed from the stalk in wheat and oat by beating the stalks with a flail. The flanking bays would be for animals and hay storage.
The Chaplin Historic District is an entire village built between 1815 and 1840, standing today in complete integrity, free of intrusions. The church, tavern, Town Hall, store and nineteen houses in late Federal and early Greek Revival styles provide a unique example of the architecture and ambience of a New England village - entirely constructed in a compressed period of time a century and a half ago, and unaltered since that time.
Connecticut has many villages which are older than Chaplin and many towns founded earlier than Chaplin in which can be traced continuing architectural and community developments from a century or more before through a century or more after the fabric demonstrated by Chaplin. Chaplin is unique because it was created on site where before there had been no settlement, was created complete in a brief span of time, and subsequently has experienced no development or changes. Chaplin provides a unique record of the architecture and community planning of the 1820’s and 1830’s (Ransom, p. 7).
Associated House 1800 National Register and Local Historic District.
The house and barn are in a village of closely-spaced 19th-century homes, many with barns. Chaplin Street, formerly the main highway, is now a secondary road since Route 198 has been straightened to bypass the village center.
T. Levine and S. Lessard, reviewed by CT Trust
Field Notes by Catherine Lynch and Hill Bullard 11/25/2009. Photographs by Catherine Lynch, Hill Bullard.
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Preservation Brief #2: Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings, Robert C. Mack, FAIA, and John P. Speweik.
Ransom, David, Chaplin National Register Historic District Nomination, No. 78002856, National Park Service, 10/11/1978.
Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history.
Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England,1997.
Works Progress Administration Writers’ Project, Architectural Survey, Census of Old Buildings, Reference Group 33, Box 226 “Bolton-Chaplin,” Hartford: Connecticut State Library Archives.